9 Symptoms of an Unclear Corporate Strategy

A man stands on a clear yellow line above a confusing mix of white paths going nowhere

Strategic clarity matters. If you don’t know where you want to go, how on earth can you get there?

It’s astounding how many leaders miss the most important aspect of creating a sound corporate strategy…cascading it clearly throughout the organization so that each employee truly understands their role, and the roles of those around them, in achieving the critical few things that matter most.

It is also surprising to us that so many organizations miss the clues that could warn them that they are off track in terms of strategic clarity.

Take a quick look at this list of symptoms of an unclear strategy and see if your business plan for success is at risk:

  1. Not enough stakeholders believe the strategy is implementable.
    Employees don’t believe changes that are discussed will actually be implemented in the current organizational culture. Too many plans have been hashed out in meetings but never executed. This is often a sign of a lack of strong leadership and a lack of accountability down the line. Beware if less than 75% of the population believes that the strategy is clear, believable and implementable enough.
  2. Substandard performers are kept on beyond a reasonable time to help them improve.
    The consequence of allowing underperformers to remain on the team for too long is not only a loss of productivity from the low performers but also a loss of motivation by those who observe the lack of consequences for not performing up to par. A low performance bar affects everyone. Beware if low performers remain on the team for too long.
  3. The company fails to hit important targets on a regular basis.
    Something is seriously wrong if important milestones are routinely missed. Either the goals were not realistic, they were miscommunicated or there were no clear consequences for failure to reach them. Beware if targets routinely slip.
  4. Goals, roles and success metrics are unclear or conflicting.
    If employees are uncertain about what, specifically, they are responsible to accomplish and where they fit in the overall plan, performance and employee engagement suffers. Do not let employees be confused about their job and their role in the context of strategic imperatives. Beware if people do not know how their success is measured and what they can count on from others.
  5. Time is wasted.
    Employees are occupied but too often in the wrong direction. They are busy but not focused on activities that drive business success and translate into what target customers want and need. They fill out reports that go nowhere, attend meetings that lack meaningful agendas and do not result in action, over-think decisions, spend time hunting down information that should have been shared, etc. Beware if the majority of time is not spent on executing strategic priorities.
  6. A lack of customer focus.
    Products and services are enhanced with extras that do not really benefit target customers…instead they only drain profits and confuse service offerings. The picture of the target customer is fuzzy or not agreed to by all key stakeholders. Beware if your customers are not at the heart of what you are doing.
  7. Decision making is not aligned.
    Decisions are not made according to strategic priorities. Instead initiatives are driven by the quick, the easy, the political or the way it’s always been done. Beware of a lack of strategic decisiveness and consistency.
  8. Organizational health and employee engagement is suffering.
    Employees are over-worked and under-satisfied. They have no hope of a better work-life balance or of taking advantage of any career development opportunities. Beware if employee advocacy, discretionary effort or retention falters.
  9. Minimal accountability and finger pointing.
    “Passing the buck” is rampant throughout the organization. Few are willing to take responsibility for missteps. Beware of ambiguity in terms of responsibility, accountability and performance metrics.

Are any of these traits familiar? If so, your organization is most likely suffering from a lack of strategic clarity. The time spent correcting the above problems will serve you well. It is far easier to operate successfully when everyone understands where the company is going and how it is going to get there.

Designing your corporate strategy is only the first step. You must ensure the strategy is clearly cascaded throughout the organization so that every employee gets it, believes it can be achieved, and is fully engaged in the process.

To learn more, download How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders – The Elite 6%

Comments are closed.

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

Philips-large-gray

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

cortina-large

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

actel-large

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Polycom-large-gray

LSA exceeded all my expectations. We interviewed 7 potential training and consulting partners and selected LSA due to their expertise, flexibility, and breadth and depth of solutions. We were able to construct a management training course from the modules most appropriate to our needs, and are able to provide additional training from their well developed portfolio of experts. Our managers galvanized as a team throughout the session and are better prepared for the rigors of a competitive market.

Mitch Mandich
CEO

Edify

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

access-large

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

JSR-large-gray

LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”

Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources

Thoratec

I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.

Greg Pappas
VP of Human Resources

cybersource-large

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

Logo - Gray - Tellme

VNUS Medical has been very pleased with the effective management development programs that LSA Global has delivered for us over the last four years. The programs have been universally facilitated by experienced and best in class instructors. The knowledge gained by our management team has been put into practice very quickly. VNUS is very happy to be working in partnership with LSA because they consistently deliver excellent programs that receive exceptional feedback from our management team.

Cindee Van Vleck
Director Human Resources

VNUS-large-gray

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

palmsource-large-gray

“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”

Sally Buchannan
VP Human Resources

sonycomputer-large

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

The Managing Virtual Teams program was extremely valuable. Your consultant/ facilitator’s fundamental knowledge of Synopsys as a company provided an incredible base to build upon while tackling the complications of managing and working with globally distributed teams. My team walked away walked away with highly useful practices and tools. It was an excellent use of our time.

Debra Martucci
Vice President, Information Technology

synopsys-large-gray

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

icon_expert-blog

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More